America's Best Engine Shops 2021 | LinCo Diesel Performance - Engine Builder Magazine
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America's Best Engine Shops

America’s Best Engine Shops 2021 | LinCo Diesel Performance

For as long as Jeff McCord can remember, he’s had an interest in motorsports. Since the age of four, Jeff would attend drag races and truck and tractor pulls with his dad. His first taste of motorsports action being behind the wheel himself was mud racing four-wheel-drive trucks. 

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Jeff carried that passion into a career, which started at a Chevy dealer, then progressed to heavy equipment and then becoming a field mechanic before opening a shop of his own called LinCo Truck and Tractor Repair.

“I got into diesels between working on heavy equipment and tractors,” McCord says. “The diesel performance side just kind of came along with it.”

Jeff started LinCo Truck and Tractor Repair in 2010. The shop, which is located in Troy, MO, worked on heavy equipment, ag equipment and diesel trucks. However, it wasn’t long before diesel performance overtook the shop’s other work.

“Not only my passion for diesel performance, but the industry grew and the demand for our work on diesel performance grew to where in 2015 we started LinCo Diesel Performance and got out of the heavy equipment side altogether,” McCord says. “Ever since we started the shop we’ve done diesel performance, but people didn’t realize it. That’s why we started the performance business was for the name. We always did that work, it just wasn’t as well known.”

The secret of LinCo Diesel Performance didn’t stay quiet for long, and today the shop focuses primarily on Duramax and Cummins engine work for all kinds of applications, as well as transmission work, maintenance and repair work, and some parts manufacturing.

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“What we’re most known for is Duramax work,” he says. “However, our experience and preference is to work on Duramax and Cummins. We work on common rail mostly, but we have roots in 12-valve stuff too. We also manufacture a lot of parts for 12-valve trucks.”

Manufacturing parts, doing complete transmission work and keeping all engine and machine work in-house is easy since LinCo Diesel Performance has a brother company in LDP Machine, a full engine machine shop.

“We bought out the machine shop in September 2020, so a lot of my focus was on the transition with that, but also on building a new facility for LinCo Diesel Performance,” McCord says. “The machine shop is in a brand new 8,600 sq.-ft. space and we built a 15,600 sq.-ft. building right next door for LinCo Diesel Performance. We now have about 25,000 sq.-ft. total on six and a half acres, so we have plenty of room to expand.

“It was very stressful last year, but as far as growth, we had a very big year. Having our own machine shop very quickly progressed into having our own engine program, which we’re constantly tweaking, but it definitely threw us in the limelight for diesel engines, not just transmissions and truck work.”

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As such, LinCo Diesel Performance has been named Engine Builder’s 2021 America’s Best Diesel Shop, sponsored by Autolite. The shop has sights set on continuing its growth from the past year.

“We’ve always grown since it was in my backyard and basement garage, but we’ve definitely seen rapid growth this last year between the machine shop and the new building,” he says. “Looking forward, we want to keep pushing our engine program and getting that more established, because we’re constantly tweaking and finding better things. We’re also looking forward to next year for drag racing because we’ve always been truck pullers. We’re going to have at least four or five trucks competing – some that we fully built and some with our engines. 

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“We gained a lot of retail part sales too, because our name was getting out there so much more from the engine side. Also, within the last year, we started designing and manufacturing some of our own tools like our main seal installer, our block plug and cam bearing drivers have all come out within the last year.” 

Jeff says productivity has seen a big uptick since the new, larger building has been finished, and it’s even driven growth in the amount of inquiries on the custom engine builds and from new customers from further away. 

“We also through a grand opening hootenanny this past summer,” he says. “That drew in a lot of people and got a lot of eyes on us.”

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In the end, what has really garnered McCord and his team at LinCo Diesel Performance that added attention has been a larger focus on social media, combined with the shop’s excellent work, of course. 

“I was against social media for so long,” McCord admits. “However, over the years, you realize you’ve got to do it. You don’t always know how much reach you have and if you’re really getting noticed or not, or if your name is making an impact in the industry. You can watch social media and one day you might think you’ve got a lot of people watching you in a positive way, and then the next week you might feel like you didn’t get a whole lot of new followers – you don’t always know. 

“When you get an award from the industry, not from people hitting the like button, but from the industry, especially from Engine Builder magazine, you realize you’re up at the forefront of the industry and you’re actually getting noticed and doing some good. It definitely makes you feel good and it’s something to be proud of.”  EB

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